Mancuso: Worry About David Wright The Person, Not The Ballplayer

David Wright had a facial beard and that look of concern outside the New York Mets clubhouse area late Friday afternoon. The New York Mets captain, and in uniform spent some time with his teammates and then addressed the media prior to the game against the Chicago Cubs.

“I love the game of baseball,” Wright said. And then he was asked if he would be able to return this season. The surgical recovery from a damaged disk and removal of fragments that were putting pressure on the spinal cord may take longer than expected.

It was obvious that Wright was still in pain. And there was the pain of realizing his season may be over with speculation that his career may be at an end. Though it has not come to that point, and Wright would not say so, there is no reason to speculate because what matters most is that David Wright has the ability to cope beyond baseball.

The surgery was a fusion process and went through Wright’s throat. He is in pain and the recovery process will take time. He spoke and the pain was about emotions and the outside possibility of a career coming to an end.

Wright said, the Mets are like family and understands that looking for a replacement at third base is not a surprise, realizing the presence of him not in the lineup has been an impact on an offense that is struggling.

So where do the Mets go from here as the inevitable has come? David Wright, who has battled the health issues the past two years, the face of this organization may not be a part of what is expected to be another September stretch run to the postseason for the New York Mets.

“I’m going to be out for an extended period of time,” he said. The words were sincere and he held back the emotions of realizing the painful process of trying to get back on the field has just begun.

Wright added: “But I plan on coming back and being the player that I feel like I’m capable of being. We shall see.”

Truth of the matter is, Wright, the Mets, and their fans will have to see how this transpires. The importance of getting back to health is obvious a priority over baseball, and that is not difficult to comprehend, though the die hard fantasy players are screaming about the disappointment of not having one of their picks on the field.

He said: “The most important thing for me now is my health and and trying to get my neck healed.” He has another appointment in three months with the doctors to determine where the future holds for this season, and by all standards it would appear that with no physical activity between now and then, the season for David Wright is over.

Again, what is more important is that Wright have normalcy. That, he can function without baseball if indeed the ending of a career is almost here. There is no timetable as of yet, or any type of discussion about the career coming to an end. These medical situations with the back and spine require time to recover.

A recovery now for David Wright, one that gave him some peace Friday at Citi Field. For the moment he was with his teammates and in the spotlight. But he would rather be the center of attention for the next 83 games on the Mets schedule.

“I can’t wait to get back out there but the most important thing for me now is my health and trying to get my neck healed,” Wright said. “Because if I go and do something that I’m not supposed to do, we’re not talking about baseball.”

It is, as Wright said “talking about something that’s going to affect me later in life.” And to put this all in perspective, baseball may be a game but it is not played for a lifetime. The Mets will continue to play, with or without David Wright, and he is aware about contingency plans to fill his void at the position are in discussion.

And that includes the return of an old friend, Jose Reyes who will get some playing time at third base. The reunion at Citi Field for Reyes is expected in a matter of days after he completes the comeback process at Double-A Binghamton.

“They’ve got to do what it takes to get this team better and back in the playoffs.” he said. “I’m not good on the field right now.” Exactly, because this is about the person and not the ballplayer we know as David Wright.

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected] Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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